Carlo’s Pizza marks 50 years

DOWNEY – The Downey Conservancy congratulates Carlo’s Pizza House on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in business. A celebration marking the event will be held this Sunday, Dec. 14, from 12-4 p.m. at the restaurant located at 13230 Woodruff Ave. In January 1955, Carmine and Gentilina Paolucci left Lanciano, Italy with their first-born child, Teresa, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the United States.  Leaving a nation devastated by World War II, the family settled in Cleveland, Ohio near Gentilina’s brother, Luigi.  It was there they first became friends with Giovanni and Pina Persico, who lived with their young family in the flat below.  In 1963, five years after opening “Anna’s Pizzeria” with his brother-in-law, Luigi, Carmine received a telephone call from the Persicos, who had since settled in Downey, California.  The message was to come to California, where the weather was beautiful and the pizza business abundant.  Thus, in 1964, Carmine made the trip to Downey, and within a week, bought a home and found a location for the soon-to-be “Carlo’s Pizza”, named after his young son.  He, his wife and their three children quickly packed up their belongings and drove across the country to Southern California.

From the time his restaurant opened, until he passed away in 2009, Carmine was a constant in the restaurant, his home away from home.  A true “mom and pop shop”, the entire family worked there at one time or another, with his son Carlo carrying on the tradition with the family’s tried-and-true recipes.  The shop initially opened as “take-out only” with a storefront near the southern edge of the city.  As a result of their great success, the family soon thereafter expanded their business by adding a dining room.  Carmine became very active in the Downey community, sponsoring and feeding many local sports teams, churches and school groups.

The Downey Conservancy invites the community to join it this Sunday as it celebrates the golden anniversary of this great business.The organization will be making a special presentation at 1 p.m., as it wishes another 50 years of unbridled success to some of Southern California’s pizza pioneers!

 

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Published: Dec. 11, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 35